Humour Politics

For a few rupees more

What’s with all this effigy-burning in the Indian sub-continent?

The last controversy I mentioned here was the Shilpa Shetty outcry in India which, you might remember, involved the famous Bollywood actress being verbally attacked by Jade Goody, a lard-monster. Well, on that occasion, there were villagers in the remotest mountain redoubts setting fire to effigies of everybody involved. Amazing.

And then, at the weekend, we saw the incredible spectacle of riots in the streets because Ireland beat Pakistan at cricket. Riots! Death-threats! More effigies!

Even more incredible is the fact that, wherever an effigy is burned, there you will find a Sky News tv crew. Isn’t it amazing how Sky is able to find out that a crowd of viillagers are about to burn an effigy, half way up the side of the Himalayas? What’s more, they’re able to find out weeks in advance because it’s no easy thing, I imagine, to get a tv crew up the side of a mountain.

Oh yes. Effigies and India. You can’t have one without the other.

I just had an idea, and it’s going to make us all rich.

I’m going to open a chain of effigy shops right across India and Pakistan. Forget the silly scarecrows you see on television. These effigies are going to of a high-class sort, yaar. Indeed. I’m going to offer the discerning effigy-burner such a range of choice that he won’t know where to turn.

What to protest next? he’ll be asking himself. All these possibilities.

I’ll start with your basic mannikin, suited to the villagers’ limited resources, but make no mistake: the quality will be the same right across the range. Your basic effigy will be anatomically correct, in case the villagers want to castrate it, or fuck it, depending on the direction their anger takes them. For a few rupees more, you can have a life-like latex mask and of course that opens up other possibilities. You might remember my idea for sex aids which continues to bring in vast quantities of money. Well, if you’re particularly enraged, you might opt for the embedded tongue-vibrator so that you can humiliate your new effigy before you set fire to it.

I mean, imagine forcing your George W Bush effigy to suck your dick before you set fire to him. If you really wanted a buzz, you could set fire to the effigy and then try to fuck it, but we’d have to print a disclaimer on the back of its neck. Fucking this dummy while on fire could lead to severe injuries. That kind of thing, you know, but these are mere details. What enraged villager would not want to have such a fine effigy?

Another step up involves implanting a voice-box so that your effigy can plead for mercy. Oh Jesus, no, not that, please, oh Jesus please not that nooooooooo! That kind of thing. It’ll cost a bit extra but it will be worth it. You can have any voice you want. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mother Teresa. Bambi. Frodo Baggins. The Rolling Stones. Gandhi.

This is going to make us all so wealthy.

I’m preparing a special Spielberg effigy for the rich movie fuckers in Bombay. It’ll be fireproof so they can burn it over and over again every time he wins an Oscar.

kick it on


Pakistan vs Ireland

Well, it’s hard to know where to go from here. You see, originally I was going to write about the reaction in Pakistan to the defeat of their cricket team by Ireland, but in the circumstances that seems a bit insensitive. After all, a man has died and despite what you might hear about me, I’m not a complete monster.

Ok. Explanations are necessary for our transatlantic cousins. These days I’m conscious that – for whatever reason – Bock seems to have developed a substantial American readership. God knows why this is. Perhaps they recognise a fellow lunatic. A future president. No really, I’m not going to invade anywhere, I promise, but the reason I mention it is simply because of the need to explain.

So. For our American readers, here’s what’s going on. Ireland are in the Cricket World Cup. You didn’t know that? Good. Neither did I until yesterday. You’ll have gathered that cricket is not a majority sport in Ireland. Neither is [tag]rugby[/tag], except in Munster, and especially here in Limerick where it isn’t so much a [tag]sport[/tag] as a religion. Everywhere else in Ireland, rugby is a form of ritual followed by the more successful thieving classes who can afford to send their children to private schools. Thus we have a ready-made class divide. Dublin middle-class gobshites versus Limerick working-class thugs who win everything and are much better at rugby. Hahahahahaha.

Enough puerile sneering. Ireland are in the cricket world cup, and yesterday they beat Pakistan.

Now, how could I make a comparison? Well, it’s like Jamaica winning the skiing competition. It’s like Saudi Arabia winning the cross-country race. It’s like Mexico winning the World Series. Well, it isn’t but you know what I mean. It’s like Ireland beating Pakistan. In rugby terms, it’s like Pakistan beating Ireland. It’s ridiculous.

People who never heard of cricket are so excited by this that they’re saying things like Really?

Now, all this would have been great – especially on a day when we should have, but didn’t, win the six nations, except for the awful news today, that the Pakistan coach died. Appalling news, and we don’t have the full details yet, but it takes much of the gloss off the victory.

What I was originally going to write about was the reaction in Pakistan to the defeat. I thought it was great that they came out on the streets burning effigies and demanding the execution of the team captain and the management. Great, I said. that’s the kind of spirit we need in Ireland. Fuck it, if we had that kind of support for our soccer team, we wouldn’t be hammered by the likes of Cyprus, for fucksake. But then, when I heard that a man had actually died as a result of all the maledictions, I began to revise my view.

I began to think, what if? The thought occurred to me, how could we build a following in Pakistan? It just seems obvious to me that this is the future of Irish soccer. I mean, what a great thing it would be if, every time we get beaten by some unknown tiny European island team of barbers and postmen, our supporters would start to focus. And they would beam evil thoughts at the Football Association of Ireland. And the FAI would all drop dead.


kick it on